The Mint Julep is the iconic southern cocktail best known for being the signature drink for horse race watching. Traditionally, a generous pour of bourbon is served over crushed ice with fresh mint and sugar, but I’ve transformed this high carb, all booze drink into a lower calorie, Skinny Mint Tea Julep, all the flavors with less carbs!
There are 2 secrets to making my Skinny Mint Tea Julep; using fresh mint tea and the BEST bourbon.
I’m sure you’re asking why all the fuss over mint tea, right??
Well here’s the thing, most of the recipes you’ll find (or versions of Mint Juleps that you’ll enjoy) are either full of messy muddled mint OR are simply garnished with a sprig of mint. And all that sugar, we don’t need that sugar in our lives.
By using fresh mint leaves and making them into low-carb southern style iced mint tea, you get consistent mint flavor without any of the mess. Then you can feel free to garnish with additional fresh mint to make things extra special.
And it’s so easy to make! Just start with a quart jar full of fresh mint. Leaves, stems and all.
Anytime I need mint (and I don’t have enough in my herb garden or it’s winter) I buy those cute potted mint plants in the produce section of the grocery store instead of the packs of fresh mint. Then I can either plant them outside or keep them in a sunny window to keep growing for next time I need mint.
Then pour hot water over top just like you would for a cup of tea, only made with fresh mint leaves.
Instead of using sugar or any carb-laden sweeteners, I suggest choosing Monk Fruit sweetener. It tastes like sugar but won’t kick you out of ketosis and will keep your blood glucose-stable.
And it’s really complimentary to both mint and bourbon!
Oh, and yeah, I don’t have man-hands… my hubby, Ray, helped out with these photos. He’s the sweetest helper!
Toss in a regular tea bag, just to give your mint tea a little oomph.
If you’re avoiding caffeine, you can use green tea or herbal chicory based tea blend.
Give it all a stir and let it all steep together for 15 minutes.
Remove your tea bag and chill your tea in the fridge. You can choose to strain your tea or just leave the mint in the jar, which I normally do because it looks pretty.
Next up (and honestly the most important part of the cocktail) is the BOURBON.
And not just any bourbon, for me it’s Maker’s Mark® or don’t bother!
Of course, my appreciation of Maker’s Mark® started with its smooth and subtle taste, but I fell in love with it because of the water that started it all…
Bill Samuels, Sr. (founder of Maker’s Mark®) chose the site of their distillery because there was a spring-fed lake right on the grounds — a plentiful source of limestone-purified water. How cool is that?!?!
And we can’t forget that after each bottle is filled, they are hand-dipped in signature red wax. Every hand-dipped bottle creates a different drip. The red wax hand-dipped bottle is every bit as recognizable as the Maker’s Mark® name.
A little bourbon goes a long way in your Skinny Mint Tea Julep.
While, of course, you can double it up, I suggest keeping it ‘skinny’ with just 1 single shot (with just 69 calories and 0g carbs). That way you can enjoy MORE Skinny Mint Tea Juleps without getting out of control! After all, it is 90 proof, so drinking responsibly is the safe thing to do!
Add your shot of Maker’s Mark® Bourbon to a glass of ice with some fresh mint leaves to make it look all fancy if you want.
Then fill the rest of your glass with your homemade fresh mint tea.
I like to garnish with extra mint and a cute orange or lemon slice, again just for that fancy feeling.
Now you’re ready for The Big Race with a Skinny Mint Tea Julep! Who are you picking to win?
For the Fresh Mint Sweet Tea
- 1 quart fresh mint, packed loosely
- 1/3 cup monk fruit sweetener
- 4 cups Hot Water, filtered
- 1 organic black tea bags*
For the Skinny Mint Juleps
- 4 ounces Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
- Orange or lemon slices optional garnish
- fresh mint optional garnish
- Combine fresh mint, tea bag and sweetener in a quart jar, cover with hot water and steep 15 minutes. Strain and chill.
- Fill 4 glasses (roughly pint/2 cup volume) with ice. Add 1 ounce of bourbon to each and fill with chilled mint sweet tea.
- Garnish with fresh mint and slice of orange, if desired. Enjoy.